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Posts Tagged ‘mele’

Mele PCG03 Intel Quad Core mini PC Sells for $49 and Up (Factory Price)

October 13th, 2014 18 comments

Mele is currently showcasing a mini PC powered by Intel Atom Z3735D quad core processor at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair, and the company has started taking OEM orders for $49 (MOQ 1000) for the barebone model without memory.

Mele_PCG03

Mele PCG03 Specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Atom Z3735D “Bay Trail” quad core processor @ 1.33 GHz (Bust freq: 1.83 GHz) with Intel HD graphics
  • System Memory – Optional 1 or 2 GB DDR3
  • Storage – Optional 16, 32, or 64 GB eMMC + micro SD slot
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4, VGA and Composite (RCA),
  • Audio I/F – HDMI, Stereo RCA, optical S/PDIF, and MIC and earphone jack.
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host
  • Power Supply – N/A
    Mele_PCG03_Rear_Panel

The box will run either Windows 8.1 or Android. I’m a little confused to what “barebone” means for this type of mini PC because the DDR3 and eMMC chips are most probably soldered to the board, so a barebone model would simply be unusable. Or maybe my assumption is wrong, and you can insert SO-DIMM modules. On the video & audio front, Mele claims it can handle 4K UHD / 1080p videos and Live TV, VOD, XBMC, YouTube, Netflix… apps, as well as Dolby Digital and DTS.

Via Cngadget

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MeLE V10 Android TV Box Features an Internal SATA Bay, HDMI In, USB 3.0 and Gigabit Ethernet

August 28th, 2014 6 comments

Like UyeSee T1H, MeLe V10 is a quad core Android TV box powered by Mstar 9810 with HDMI In, USB 3.0 and Gigabit Ethernet, but adds an internal SATA bay supporting either 2.5″ or 3.5″ hard drives or SSDs. It also comes with better specs by default with 2GB RAM, and a 16 GB eMMC flash.

MeleV_10_TV_BoxMeLe V10 specifications:

  • SoC – Mstar MSO9180 quad core ARM Cortex A9 @ 1.5GHz with a quad (or octa-core ARM Mali-450 MP GPU @
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3 @ 1866MHz?
  • Storage – 16 GB eMMC flash, internal SATA bay for 2.5″ or 3.5″ hard drive or SSD up to 3TB, and an SD card slot
  • Video I/O – HDMI 1.4a out up to 4K30, HDMI in, AV (CVBS)
  • Audio I/O – HDMI in/out, optical S/PDIF, AV port
  • Video Playback
    • MPEG-1/2, MPEG-4, DivX, H.264, H.265/HVC, VC-1, H.263, Real Media, MVC…
    • Up to 4K, 60Mbps (H.264)
    • 3D H.264 MVC Decoder/H.264 Encoder (720P)
  • Audio Formats and Codecs
    • MPEG, WMA, WAV, APE, OGG, FLAC, ACC, MPEG1,MPEG2(Layer I/II), MP3, AC-3, E-AC-3, AAC-LC, WMA, HE-AAC.
    • Dolby Digital Plus/Dolby TrueHD/DTS-HD MA 7.1ch pass-through
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802 b/g/n Wi-Fi with external antenna
  • USB – 2x USB2.0 host ports, 1x USB 3.0 host port, 1x USB 3.0 device port.
  • Misc – IR receiver
  • Power Supply – 12V/2A
  • Dimensions – N/A
  • Weight – N/A

Mele V10_Rear_Panel

The box is said to run Android 4.4. I’m not sure which accessories are included, and it’s not available on Aliexpress yet. AndroidPC.es reports the box sells for around 160 Euros ($210) in China, and that there will be a version for international market with a different firmware. I could also find it on a little known website called iAndroidTVBox for $219. You can also find more details and pictures in Chinese on Mele BBS.

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Categories: Android, Hardware, Mstar Tags: Android, media player, mele, stb

Mele F10 Deluxe Air Mouse Review

August 3rd, 2014 15 comments

Mele F10 is an air mouse using 2.4GHz RF technology, that can be used as a remote, a QWERTY keyboard. and  a wireless mouse. That’s my favourite input device for Android TV Box, and I use it regularly for my product reviews.The company has now introduced an improved model called Mele F10 Deluxe with trick mode buttons, a gaming mode thanks to a gyroscope, and an IR learning function to use it as a universal remote. Mele sent me a sample for evaluation, so I’ll start with some unboxing pictures, and comparing it to the original Mele F10, before testing the remote.

Mele F10 Deluxe Unboxing

I’ve received the air mouse in the package below that highlights the four main features: Air mouse, Game Controller, Wireless Keyboard, and IR Learning.

Mele F10 Deluxe Package (Click to Enlarge)

Mele F10 Deluxe Package (Click to Enlarge)

WE’ll find the air mouse, a tiny RF dongle, a USB cable for charging and user’s manual describing the button, and explaining how to use it, especially the IR learning function.

Mele F10 Deluxe and Accessories (Click to Enlarge)

Mele F10 Deluxe and Accessories (Click to Enlarge)

Let’s compare it with the original F10 model.

Mele F10 vs Mele F10 Deluxe - Remot Side and Dongles (Click to Enlarge)

Mele F10 Deluxe vs Mele F10 – Remote Side and Dongles (Click to Enlarge)

The number of buttons are the same, but they’ve reorganize the key mapping. It’s clearly an improvement as I never used the 8 buttons key on the Mele F10, except Mute, and there are now Mute, prev and next, play/pause button on the first bottom row, and Game, My Box, STB and TV on the bottom row for gaming mode, and IR functions. The only downside is that the mouse button to enable mouse mode is also left click, so you may click when you just want to enable the mouse. The previous mouse button, as been replace with the A.I Power button for IR remote controls. They have miniaturized the RF dongle even further, and although it’s nice in the way, it’s easier to lose, and harder to differentiate with other tiny USB dongles I have.

Mele F10 vs Mele F10 Deluxe - Keyboard Side (Click to Enlarge)

Mele F10 Deluxe (Top) vs Mele F10 (Bottom) – Keyboard Side (Click to Enlarge)

The keyboard side has also changed, as they added a mouse left and right buttons, and the game button, slightly shuffling the keys around. I’m not a big fan of having the Esc and Backspace at the bottom, but I understand choices had to be made, and it’s a plus not to have to turn the remote each time you want to use the mouse mode. There’s still no Tab key to switch between fields, but the down key works most of the time. Other change, not shown on the pictures, has been the replacement of the mini USB port for charging the built-in 500 mAh battery by a micro USB port.

Mele F10 Deluxe Review

The remote is supposed to work in Linux, Android, Windows and MaC OS X, and does not require drivers. I started by plugging it to my Ubuntu 14.04 computer, and it was immediately recognized and usable. But I did most of the testing on an Android TV box, namely Tronsmart Vega S89 Elite. Again, the system had no problem recognizing the RF dongle, and I could use the air mouse straight-away. One complain I had with the original Mele F10 is that the mouse pointer alignment drift over time, and I had to recalibrate it manually, by hitting the sides of the screen. This is clearly an annoyance, but somehow I could get used to. The Mele F10 Deluxe does not have this problem anymore, either because they improve they algorithm, or they get some help from the added 6-axis gyroscope. That’s definitely a plus.

I planned to test the play/pause, prev and next keys with XBMC, but for some reasons it was gone from my box, and I had troubles installing it. So instead I tried the play/pause key in YouTube, and prev/next key to play music, both of which worked just fine. The mouse button, also acting as the left click, is used to enable the mouse, which can be problematic as you may click without meaning to. The mouse will be disabled after one minute of inactivity, and you need to press the mouse button again if you plan to use it. The keyboard works very much like the Mele F10, and I don’t really have complains, except for the missing tabulation key.

One of the new feature is a “Game Controller” mode. There’s only one sentence on the user’s manual about this: “Press Game button to enter into game mode”…. right, it does not help, does it? I guess the remote is suppose to be used like a wheel drive, just like you would do when playing with a tablet thanks to the gyro. So I setup Riptide GP2 and Beach Buggy Games to tilt mode, confidently at least one of them would work, but tilting the remote did nothing at all. First massive failure.

The second major feature is the “IR learning function”. What can go wrong here? Everything is clearly explained in the user’s manual, so I started with recording the main keys of the TV remote control. All keys can be programmed on Mele F10 except Power, Game, My Box, STB and TV buttons. After I thought I had successfully programmed the remote control, I gave it a try, and…. it did not work. Trying again with just the volume+ key, and it failed again. Then I switched to my aircon remote control. no luck. Second massive failure.

You can also watch the video review below, where I compare Mele F10 to Mele F10 Deluxe,  try a few working features, and showing how Game mode and IR learning functions did not work for me.

In conclusion, despite Game mode and IR learning function disasters, Mele F10 Deluxe is a better air mouse than Mele F10 thanks to an improved control of the mouse pointer, and more useful keys (play/pause, prev/next) on the remote side. [Update: I’ve used it more, and when clicking with the OK button, the mouse pointer may jump, and this does not seem to happen with the L mouse button. This can get really annoying, and holding the remote to click the L button instead feels a little awkward]. Mele F10 Deluxe can be purchased for $34.99 on Mele’s Aliexpress store, but I understand you can get $5 discount by mentioning you’ve been referred by CNX Software in the comment field, bringing the price down to $29.99 (Chat with them first to confirm). There are also other sellers on Aliexpress that sell it for the same price, and it can be found on DealExtreme for $31.92. For reference, the original Mele F10 now sells for $27.30 on DX, and as low as $22.49 on Aliexpress.

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VidOn.me AV200 Android TV Box Review

July 7th, 2014 1 comment

After providing some pictures of VidOn.me AV200 media player, and its PCBA, it’s now time for a review. I’ll start by giving my first impressions, and checking out the system settigns and user’s interface, go through my library of video test files, and cover most hardware features. As usual, I’ll also test Wi-Fi performance, but I’ve now added more tests including Ethernet performance, and USB hard drive support and performance with NTFS, FAT32, EXT-4, and BTRFS partitions.

First Boot, Settings and First Impressions

The device comes with an IR remote control with lots of buttons, including shortcuts, D-Pad control, digit keys and trick modes (play/pause, fast forward and rewind, next and previous), but the two required AAA batteries were not included, and I did not have spare batteries, so I did not use the remote control, which looks pretty OK for XBMC, and just control the device with my Mele F10 air mouse. I’ve connected an Ethernet cable, the provided HDMI cables, the Mele F10 USB RF dongle, and the power adapter to boot the device. It took around 40 seconds to reach the user interface, which looks pretty similar to the one provided with many recent firmware on devices such as Tronsmart Vega S89 or SZTomato M8.

VidOn.me_Android_Home_Screen

At the top left of the screen, clicking on the VidOn.me logo redirect you to their website. The small top right icons are for Download (with download speed shown in real-time), App (Kill, Move to SD card or Remove), Network connection, and date and time. The large icons in the center of the screen are for VidOn XBMC, and “folders” for TV shows, movies, games and music applications. The lower row is composed of icons redirecting to the list of apps, a file manager, and custom system settings. The Add icon allows you to add your preferred app to the row for faster access. The user interface resolution is stuck to 1280×720.

There are quite a few common pre-installed apps including Chrome, the Play Store, Gmail, YouTube, Pandora, Netflix, Pinterest, Skype, Fadcebook and Twitter. I had no problem installing other apps with Google Play.

The “Setting” menu gives you access to the settings shown in the same Metro-style with four sub menus: Network Settings, Display Settings, “Volume” Settings and Others Settings. Network settings let you choose between Wi-Fi and Ethernet almost no problem here, except the vey first boot, Ethernet is set by defautl as fixed IP without any IP, so you have to go to the Android Settings menu, via the Other Settings menu to configure Ethernet, not that user’s friendly… The Display Settings provide menus top configure HDMI output to 720p 50/60, 1080i 50/60 and 1080p 24/50/60, as well as slider for overscan adjustment. The  “Volume” settings are actually audio settings, that let you select the Audio output (HDMI or 3.5mm audio jack), whether it’s connected directly to a TV or via a decoder amplifier (pass-through), and adjust the volume. “Other Settings” are not settings at all, but report the model (Android Blu-ray Box), thefirmware version (V3.1.3), the MAC Address, and the n-board storage (1GB app partition, 4.14 GB internal SD card). There are also two buttons” System Upgrade” which allows for OTA or local upgrades, and “Advanced Settings” that are the Android settings you can find on any Android device.  There’s not much to see over there, except the kernel version is 3.3.30, and developer options are enabled. Ethernet configuration must also be done in the Android settings…

The device has been released last year, so I was expecting a super stable firmware, and it’s working pretty well most of the time, but I did get two random reboots, and once XBMC would not start at all, and I had to reboot to recover. There’s a power button on the device and one the remote, I did not test the latter, but pressing the former really shuts down the device properly, which is a plus.

Video Playback

The box comes pre-loaded with a special version of XBMC called VidOn XBMC Pro which I used for testing video playback. The first time you start the app, you have to register with VidOn.me and  login, or you can’t use XBMC, and I found that quite annoying. But I was pleased to be asked if I wanted to receive an automatic upgrade for XBMC, which I downloaded only to be told there was not enough space! That’s a new device where I only install 2 or 3 small apps (Root checker, and screenshot apps). That’s the result of silly partitioning like I had on my Android phone with 1GB for apps, and 4+ GB for data which is never used. So I used the App tool the provided to move some apps to the internal “SD Card”. When I went to XBMC again, they had to re-downloable the fully update yet again, which takes about 5 minutes, before it got successful…

But after a poor user experience due to forced registration and  problems with installating an update, I was pleasantly surprised as the user interface is very smooth and rendered @ 60 fps (1280×720), and I did not experience any slowdown.

Let’s start with video playback. Unless otherwise noted, the videos are played from a SAMBA share on Ubuntu 14.04 using the Ethernet connection of the device. I had no problem for SAMBA configuration in XBMC nor ES File Explorer.

Videos from samplemedia.linaro.org:

  • H.264 codec / MP4 container (Big Buck Bunny), 480p/720p/1080p – OK
  • MPEG2 codec / MPG container, 480p/720p – OK; 1080p – The video can play but there seemed to be some sort of screen/color blinking every few seconds.
  • MPEG4 codec, AVI container 480p/720p/1080p – OK
  • VC1 codec (WMV), 480p/720p/1080p – OK
  • Real Media (RMVB) – The video can played but lots of frames are skipped.
  • WebM / VP8 – 480p/720p/1080p is – OK.

I’ve also tested some high bitrate videos:

  • ED_HD.avi (1080p MPEG-4 – 10Mbps) – Lots of frames skipped and massive audio/video sync issue
  • big_buck_bunny_1080p_surround.avi (1080p H.264 – 12 Mbps) – OK.
  • h264_1080p_hp_4.1_40mbps_birds.mkv (40 Mbps) – OK
  • hddvd_demo_17.5Mbps_1080p_VC1.mkv (17.5Mbps) – OK
  • Jellyfish-120-Mbps.mkv (120Mpbs) – Some buffering occurs, and the video is not really smooth at anytime. Tested using a USB hard drive (EXT-4)

I’ve also tested common audio codecs below using downsampling:

  • AC3 – OK
  • Dolby Digital 5.1 / Dolby Digital 7.1 – OK
  • TrueHD 5.1 & 7.1 – OK
  • DTS-MA and DTS-HR – OK

Even there’s no Blu-ray drive to be seen, AV200 is sold as a “Blu-ray” player, as it is supposed to play Blu-ray. I could play Sintel-Bluray.iso in XBMC without issue, and navigate between chapters. 3D Blu-ray are also supported, but I’m not sure how to test it yet.

I’ve also tested several 4K Videos since AllWinner A31 SoC does support 4K decoding, but unfortunately hardware decode does not seem to have been implemented in XBMC:

  • HD.Club-4K-Chimei-inn-60mbps.mp4 (60 Mbps) – Audio cuts after 2 seconds, and video is very slow.
  • Sintel.2010.4K.mkv – Very slow playback, frames skipped.

I also tested several AVI, MKV, FLV and MP4 videos, and they could all play. Finally, I also played some “motion bar” videos to check 24Hz, 23.976Hz, 50Hz, 59.940Hz, and 60Hz support, but there seemed to be jitter a bit all the time, so results are not conclusive.

Links to various video samples used in this review and be found in “Where to get video, audio and images samples” post and comments.

Network Performance (Wi-Fi and Ethernet)

I used to test only Wi-Fi, since I believed Ethernet performance would be pretty similar in all devices, but I’ve changed my mind, and will now provide both Wi-Fi and Ethernet performance results. The test consist in transferring a 278 MB file between a SAMBA share and the internal flash, and vice versa, repeating the test three times. Transferring the file between flash and SAMBA took 1:49 (2.55Mb/s), and in the reverse direction it’s a bit slower as it took 2:18 (2.01 MB.s). There was very little variability between the test which is nice, and on average the transfer was performed at 2.25MB/s, a pretty decent result.

AV200_Mele_M9_WiFiCS868, Mele X1000, and AV200 (aka Mele M9) all happen to have a metallic casing, and I wonder if it could be related in any way to Wi-Fi performance, albeit T428 also comes with a metallic enclosure but does not fare that well.

The Ethernet test does not really test pure Ethernet speed, but a common use case transferring the same 278 MB between SAMBA and the internal flash. From SAMBA to the flash was done @ 3.43 MB/s (1m21s), and from the internal flash to SAMBA @ 4.27MB/s (1m05s).

Miscellaneous Tests

Bluetooth

There’s no Bluetooth support in both the hardware and firmware, so even external USB Bluetooth dongles won’t be supported.

External Storage

I could use an SD card formatted to FAT32 successfully.
I’ve also purchased a USB 3.0 hard drive that I partitioned in 4 with NTFS, EXT-4, FAT32, and BTRFS. Here are the performance results achieved by copying files between the internal flash and the partitions.

File System Read Write
NTFS 6.17MB/s 5.05MB/s
EXT-4 Not supported
FAT32 6.31MB/s 13.9MB/s
BTRFS Not supported

I used a stopwatch, and did the transfer with ES File Explorer waiting for the transfer window to disappear. I mention this detail because the transfer is reported as finished much earlier, but ES File Explorer appears to flush the file to disk for a few more seconds (around 20) before the transfer window is closed.I used a stopwatch, and did the transfer with ES File Explorer waiting for the transfer window to disappear. I mention this detail because the transfer is reported as finished much earlier, but ES File Explorer appears to flush the file to disk for a few more seconds before the transfer window is closed.

The read transfer speed is unfortunately not representative of the true speed as it must be limited by the internal flash write speed. I also tried to copy from FAT32 to SAMBA but it’s even slower. I’ll need to find another way…

Gaming

I’ve tested two games: Angry Birds Star Wars, and Beach Buggy Blitz. Both are running fine, including Buggy Blitz set to maximum graphics settings.

VidOn.me AV200 Benchmark

I’ve just run one quick benchmark (Antutu) since AllWinner A31 is not exactly new, to check there was not performance issues.

Antutu Benchmark Results (Click to Enlarge)

Antutu Benchmark Results (Click to Enlarge)

A 11399 score for a quad core Cortex A7 @ 1 Ghz seems about right, considering a Rockchip RK3188T (4x Cortex A9 @ 1.4Ghz) now gets around 14,000, so the score is probably helped by the PowerVR GPU.

Conclusion

VidOn.me AV200 is performing quite well, especially when it comes with video playback, but I feel a little worried that I had 2 automatic reboot during my day of testing, especially since the device went through several firmware iterations.

Let’s summarize the PROS and CONS

  • PROS
    • Smooth and fast firmware.
    • Custom version of XBMC with Blu-Ray ISO and 3D support, and HDMI pass-through
    • Very Good video formats/codecs support
    • High quality metallic enclosure
    • Good Wi-Fi performance
    • OTA firmware and XBMC upgrades
  • CONS
    • Stability problems.
    • Their XBMC version requires registration and login to VidOn.me
    • 4K hardware video decoding not supported, at least in XBMC
    • Poor partitioning of the flash, leading to problems to install apps or updates.
    • Device is sold out, and can only be obtained as second hand, or by buying Mele M9.
    • Further firmware updates very unlikely due to above reasons.

VidOn.me AV200 has one of the best, if not the best, audio/video format/codec support I’ve ever seen from the device I tested, baring lack of support for 4K, H.265, and some visual effects in one of my MPEG2 files, but I tend to test recently released device, and the VidOn.me team had more time to iron out issues with this media player, which makes the two reboots I had all the more disappointing, but maybe I was just unlucky, and it did not happen during video playback (One in ES File Explorer, and one in the System Settings).

As mentioned before, you can’t buy VidOn.me AV200 anymore, but it’s the same hardware as Mele M9, and according to reports you can install VidOn.me firmware on Mele M9 or A1000G.

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Unboxing of VidOn.me AV200 Android Blu-Ray Box

July 5th, 2014 5 comments

I had only reviewed on device based on AllWinner A31 before, namely CS868 mini PC which turned out to be disappointing. And recently I’ve reviewed quite of few Amlogic and Rockchip TV boxes, so I’m happy to get a change and try again with another AllWinner A31 based device thanks to VidOn.me AV200 Android Blu-ray Box. I’ll start by listing hardware specifications and showing pictures of the device and the board today, and I’ll write a complete review in a few days.

VidOn.me AV200 Specifications

AV200 is an Android TV box with a metallic enclosure very similar to the one used for Mele X1000 Android Blu-ray box, and with the following specifications:

  • SoC – AllWinner A31 quad core Cortex-A7 @ 1.3GHz with PowerVR SGX544MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3
  • Storage: 8GB + SD/SDHC card reader
  • Video Output – HDMI
  • Audio Output – HDMI, optical S/PDIF, and 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • USB – 3x USB host ports, 1x micro USB OTG
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – 190x124x45.4mm

AV200 runs Android 4.2.2 with an “enhanced version” of XBMC 12 supporting hardware video decoding, HD audio pass-through, Blu-ray navigation and 3D playback and a few other features such as a crash reporting system. It’s also supposed to support 1080p24.

AV200 Unboxing Pictures and Video

I’ve received the device in the simple package below that reads “VidOne.me Android Blu-ray Box”

VidoOn.me_AV200_PackageAs you open the box you’ll see two QR codes linking to VidOn.me player for Android phones or tablets. I’ll try that during the review.

AV200 and Accessories (Click to Enlarge)

AV200 and Accessories (Click to Enlarge)

The box comes with an IR remote (2x AAA batteries not included), an HDMI cable, a 5V/1A power adapter, and a Quick Start Guide in English, but with links poiting to setup instructions in simplified and traditional Chinese, Korean, French, Japanese, German, and Spanish.

VidoOn.me_AV200

A closer look at the device shows a nice metallic casing, a large Wi-Fi antenna, a USB port and SD card on one side, and at the back, an audio jack, a micro USB port, a power jack, an HDMI connector, an RJ45 port, two USB host ports, and an optical S/PDIF output. There’s also a power button, a small window for the IR receiver, and an LCD display at the front.

I’ve also shot an unboxing video for those interested.

AV200 Internal Pictures

Opening the box is fairly easy. There’s nothing under the rubber pad, so you can leave them in place. You just have to remove 4 screws, and slide the top cover. You’ll also notice the “Upgrade” button on the middle left of the picture below.

Bottom of AV200 (Click to Enlarge)

Bottom of AV200 (Click to Enlarge)

Once it’s opened we can actually three boards: the mainboard in blue, and the LCD and power button boards in Green,.

AV200 Board (Click to Enlarge)

AV200 Board (Click to Enlarge)

The board name is A31-G39A04-V1.30 and it has been designed on 2013-09-17, the MAC address starts with 00:CE:39, a range which interestingly is not assigned to anybody, and the Wi-Fi module used is based on Realtek RTL8188ETV. Searching for the board name, let me to an older article about a Mele media player, and it turns out it’s basically the same hardware as the Mele M9. Other interesting bits are the unsoldered pads: option for an extra 8 GB flash,  SATA connector + USB to SATA chip, etc… And if you want to have a similar model with SATA, Mele A1000G is apparently also based on G39A04. The firmware provided by VidOn.me is different than the one that’s available from Mele, so that will be the key differentiating factor here.

Cooling is achieved with a small heatsink on top of AllWinner A31. To further remove the board from the enclosure, you have to remove four more screws. But after doing that the board would not still come off, because there’s some thermal paste stick the PCB to the metal case, which should be good news in terms of thermal dissipation. Since I’ve not done the review yet, I decided against taking it further apart as it might affect performance.

I’d like to thanks VidOn.me for providing the sample. AV200 normally sells for $200 on VidOn.me, but it’s currently out of stock, and the site reads “new box is coming soon…”, and I could not find another place to buy AV200… So the only option appears to get a Mele M9 which for once appears the be the cheapest on DealExtreme ($110).

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Giveaway Week Winners Announced

June 26th, 2014 5 comments

Regular readers will know that I organize a giveaways last week, with Linux and Android based TV boxes and TV dongles based on Amlogic, Rockchip, and Telechips processors, a total of 8 devices with a combined value closed to $1,000 if purchased new. I’ve now selected all the winners, and send the devices, so it may be nice to list them in one post, even I announced each individual winners in the comment section of each contest.

Android_TV_Box_GiveawayWithout further delays, let’s go through the winners and their country of residence, with links to the original individual winner announcements:

Parcels (Almost) Ready to Send

Parcels (Almost) Ready to Send

All parcels have been sent today by Airmail (Thailand Post), and I hope the winners will receive them soon, and enjoy their little gift! For others, hopefully, I’ll get more devices to organize another giveaway week in a few months.

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Giveaway Week – Mele X1000 Blu-Ray Navigation Android TV Box

June 17th, 2014 108 comments

For day 2 of Giveaway Week, I’ll list Mele X1000, an higher-end Android 4.4 Kitkat TV box with a metallic enclosure, and powered by Telechips TCC8935 dual core Cortex A9 SoC with 1GB RAM, 4GB flash, HDMI and AV outputs, an external SATA connector, Ethernet and Wi-Fi, as well as a few USB ports. The selling point of this box is that it can handle Blu-Ray navigation in XBMC.

Mele X1000 (Click to Enlarge)

Mele X1000 (Click to Enlarge)

Since my review of Mele X1000 in March, the company has released new firmware via OTA updates, so the box has certainly improved. At the time of the review I found the hardware build to be of high quality, Wi-Fi performance to be really excellent, that it indeed supported Blu-ray ISO, and provided lots of advanced settings for video playback, but I could notice some unstabilities, XBMC was not pre-installed, SAMBA and NFS were not working, and some videos could not play. XBMC is now pre-installed in the latest firmwares, and hopefully they’ve fixed most of the other bugs I found during my testing.

Mele X1000 and Accessories (Click to Enlarge)

Mele X1000 and Accessories (Click to Enlarge)

More pictures of Mele X1000 are available in the unboxing post.

To enter the draw simply leave a comment below.

Other rules are as follows:

  • Only one entry per contest. I will filter out entries with the same IP and/or email address.
  • Contests are open for 48 hours starting at 10am (Bangkok time) every day. Comments will be closed after 48 hours.
  • Winners will be selected with random.org
  • I’ll contact the winners by email or Facebook, and I’ll expect an answer within 24 hours, or I’ll pick another one.
  • Shipping
    • Free for winners with a shipping address in Thailand
    • Flat fee of $25 for the rest of the world payable via Paypal within 48 hours once the contest is complete, or I’ll pick another winner.
  • I’ll post all 8 prizes at the same time, so around the 25th of June, using Airmail (Small Packet) with tracking.
  • I’ll make sure we have 8 different winners, so if you have already won a device during this week giveaway, I’ll draw another person.

Good luck!

Mele X1000 can be also purchased on Aliexpress for  $179 including shipping, but Mele often organized 1 or 2 days discounts, where you can get for as low as $125, so it pays to be patient.

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Mele F10 Deluxe Air Mouse with Improved Gyroscope, IR Learning Function Sells for $29.99

June 10th, 2014 11 comments

In most of my reviews, I don’t use the IR remote control that comes with the device but instead Mele F10 air mouse, because it’s just more convenient for Android as it features one side with a standard remote, one side with a QWERTY keyboard, and a gyroscope that let you move the mouse pointer like a magic wand. Last year Mele released the Pro version with microphone and headphone support, but I’ve heard some people complain as it would just take over the audio output by default, and you’d get no audio via HDMI, until you change the setting manually. Nevertheless, Mele has now another version called Mele F10 Deluxe, without microphone nor headphone support, but instead it’s an improvement over the original Mele F10 air mouse with a better gyroscope and the ability to record some IR codes from another remote control.

Mele_F10_Deluxe
The 6-axis gyroscope is said to be good enough to allow game play, but there may be a limited number of games supported (TBC). The IR learning function can be activated via the “A.I Power” button as the top which must stand for “Alternative Input” and you can record power on/off, left, right, up, down, confirm/enter, volume +, and volume –  from the infrared remote control of another device.

Here are some of the technical details:

  • Radio Frequency – 2.4GHz RF up to 10 meters range
  • USB – Mini USB for charging
  • Sensors – 6-axis gyroscope, G-sensor
  • Battery – Build-in 500 mAh Lithium battery; standby time: over 200 days
  • Button Lifespan – Over 100,000 times

Mele F10 Deluxe works with Android, Windows XP/Vista/7/8, Mac OS, and Linux. The remote ships with a small USB RF receiver to connect your device or computer, a mini USB cable for charging the air mouse, and user’s manual.

Mele F10 Deluxe is currently available for pre-order for $34.99 on Mele’s Aliexpress store, but you can get $5 discount by mentioning you’ve been referred by CNX Software in the comment field, bringing the price down to $29.99. You’ll need to wait until the end of June to get the air mouse shipped. The company is also planning to send me a sample, so you can expect a review soon.

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Categories: Hardware, Linux, Windows 8 Tags: mele, remote